Neuropathology of explosive blast traumatic brain injury

John Magnuson, Fabio Leonessa, Geoffrey Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

During the conflicts of the Global War on Terror, which are Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), there have been over a quarter of a million diagnosed cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The vast majority are due to explosive blast. Although explosive blast TBI (bTBI) shares many clinical features with closed head TBI (cTBI) and penetrating TBI (pTBI), it has unique features, such as early cerebral edema and prolonged cerebral vasospasm. Evolving work suggests that diffuse axonal injury (DAI) seen following explosive blast exposure is different than DAI from focal impact injury. These unique features support the notion that bTBI is a separate and distinct form of TBI. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge pertaining to bTBI. Areas of discussion are: the physics of explosive blast generation, blast wave interaction with the bony calvarium and brain tissue, gross tissue pathophysiology, regional brain injury, and cellular and molecular mechanisms of explosive blast neurotrauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-579
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Cognitive function
  • DTI
  • Explosive blast
  • Histology
  • Pathology
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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